Overview of Rhinos at Medla
The blog focuses on Rhinos of Medla Camp of Gorumara National Park. There are 19 rhinos at Medla Camp. If you are interested in One-Horned Rhinocerous and want to watch this endangered animal in wild – Medla Camp is the best option in Dooars and North Bengal.
We know more about other details of Medla Watchtower Safari, please visit – Medla Watchtower Safari Blog
The Journey Begins
I started from Jalpaiguri at 5.30 am on the auspicious day of Nabami. Reached Ramsai around 6.15 am. The first safari is at 6.30 am. The ticket counter has not opened yet. It drizzled last night and it was misty and a bit cold in the morning. After a while, the ticket counter staff arrived. The ticket was finally issued- a)Entry fee – Rs 100/-, Guide charge – Rs 200/-, Bullock-cart ride fee – Rs 40/- and Watchtower fee – Rs 60/-. Total Safari Cost – Rs 400/-
Rhinos – The Guardian of Medla
I prefer to walk through the jungle road rather than in bullock-cart. Riding on a bullock-cart is always a moral conundrum. It’s about 10 minutes from Kalipur Eco Village. It was no surprise that two rhinos were ready to welcome me. The rhinos were taking rest near a swampy water-body. There are two salt leaks at Medla and is frequented by wildlife. A gaur herd was grazing at the far end of the grassland. There is an artificial grassland at the Medla. Drained by rivers like Murti, Jaldhaka, and Dina offers a conducive atmosphere for the grassland to thrive.
There are Observation Lane’s in every forest. Observation Lane is a patch of land devoid of any foliage or grass and gives a clear view deep into the forest. As I look deep down into an observation lane with my binoculars a gaur popped its head from the grassland crossed the observation land and went to the other side of the grassland.
Well, my sole objective was to document the rhinos and I moved to the other side of the tower and focuses my binoculars towards the salt leak. Still, there was no movement and rhinos were having a good time impervious of human presence.
Forest officials go on patrol everyday and identify and count the rhinos. A pair of Kunki elephants(captive elephants) with Mahouth went pass the tower and move towards the rhinos. The presence of elephants was like a wake-up call for the rhinos. The rose and look towards the elephants. The rhinos posed like a pro the green backdrop created a wonderful photographic opportunity. I was all ready and pressed the shutter to capture these beautiful creatures for eternity. There was a mother with a calf but the tall grass made it difficult to capture any decent photograph.
Best Time to visit Medla
February to April – It is the dry season. Fodder and water are scarce in the forest. Animals congregate in large numbers in Medla in search of water and fodder. The new grass which comes up in January is shorter in height and gives a clear view of animals.